Case Study: Boghall Nursery and Primary School

Rights provide the starting point for community engagement

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At this nursery and primary school there are many opportunities for the community to come together and support children’s rights

Karen Heenan is a teacher and one of the Rights Respecting coordinators at Boghall Nursery and Primary School. 

Connecting with Families 

​At Boghall Primary we use a large part of our Public Equity Fund budget to employ a Family Link Worker.  She responds to the needs of the families within our school and work with pupils, parents and carers and engages with the wider community to promote children’s rights. She provides a fortnightly ‘biscuit and blether’ session, a small  breakfast club, support for families, homework support, and support to break down barriers that may impact a child’s attendance and much more. Through all of these activities she links into rights, like Article 24, 25 and 28. 

We provide lots of opportunities for parents to become involved thus helping pupils to enjoy their rightsMost recently, we held a family learning session with a particular focus on health, wellbeing and rightsThis allowed pupils to teach their parents and carers about rights.

We have also just started running a Community Cooking Project in partnership with the Boghall Drop-in Centre whereby each pupil is supplied with ingredients and recipes which can be used to create a take away style meal at homeWe aim to show that good food can be made with fresh ingredients which are not only healthier but cost a lot less than ordering a take awayWe hope that this will help with cost of living pressures, encourage healthier eating and allow families to spend some quality time cooking together.

Positive community relationships

Our Positive Relationships Framework outlines our  vision, values and aims in this area and is central to all of the work we do within Boghall Primary and Nursery. We have lots of activities through which we promote our vision and we often tweet about these activities to let our community know what we are doing.

One really successful initiative is our Friendship Café. This is a weekly intergenerational project that involves both pupils and members of our local church that have felt lonely since COVIDOur Family Link Worker coordinates the Café along with representatives from the churchPupils and church members play games and chat over tea and cake Pupils develop life skills such as washing dishes, taking drinks orders, and setting up tablesThere are plans to involve our nursery pupils in the future.  

Promoting and protecting children’s dignity

The school has an active Parent Council and strong community links. We promote and protect children’s dignity along with their right to health with our Dignity Box, which is supported by our Parent Council. This box provides a wide variety of toiletries to our pupils free of charge, no questions asked.  Pupils can take what they need, when they need it.

As part of the Scottish Government aim to end Period Poverty, we also provide sanitary items in our upper school girl’s bathrooms. We hope to promote a sense of normality around periods and to remove any barriers to learning that we can with this initiative. Our Health and Wellbeing Mini Champions ensure the baskets are kept clean, tidy and well stocked. We also provided all of our female P5 and P6 pupils with a small pack of sanitary items to take home as part of their learning about health, wellbeing and relationships, sexual health and parenthood this year. This was partly supported by the Boghall Drop In Centre whose Board donated money to make this possible. In addition a pre-loved clothing rack is located in the school foyer for parents and carers to help themselves to jackets, uniforms and school bags.

School context: Boghall Nursery and Primary School is a non-denominational school located in Boghall, West Lothian with 293 children on roll.  27% of children have free school meals and 14.5% speak English as an additional language. One third of pupils have additional support needs. 

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